The overall purpose of the X Prize concept is to facilitate innovation through competition and private entrepreneurial efforts. Entrepreneurial space development / support efforts have been grouped in the meme of NewSpace by many in the community.
The original X Prize or Ansari X Prize was a $10 million US prize created by the X Prize Foundation to get a commercial organization to launch a reusable passenger capable spaceship twice into space within a two week window.
On October 4, 2004 the experimental spacecraft SpaceShipOne, won the prize. SpaceShipOne created by the Mojave Aerospace Ventures team. This team was formed by aircraft designer Burt Rutan and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Because of this achievement SpaceShipOne now hangs in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum.
The next X PRIZE announced, October 4, 2006, was the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics. This $10 million prize will focus on rapid genome sequencing. Rapid Genome sequencing is considered an important step in science which will allow the medical community to use the individuals genetics guide their treatment. This customized treatment requires affordable and rapid genome sequencing.
Future X Prizes well be multi-million dollar awards for specific contests that are expected to benefit humanity.
2007 Wirefly X Prize
Because of the success of the Wirefly X Prize spaceflight events over the past two years, the X PRIZE Foundation, Holloman Air Force Base and the State of New Mexico announced a significant expansion of the event. The Wirefly X Prize Cup will be held at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo and Las Cruces, New Mexico.  The event is to be held on October 27 and 28, 2007.
In conjunction with the X Prize Cup the Third International Symposium for Personal Spaceflight (ISPS 2007) will be held on October 24th and 25th. It will be held at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, New Mexico.